|Forum topic by bluekingfisher||posted 01-31-2013 07:39 PM||1497 views||0 times favorited||16 replies|
01-31-2013 07:39 PM
I have for some time now been considering and applying my shop time to two aspects of working wood, dust collection and saw safety.
I have recently installed DC into the shop, why I never made this part of my hobby a priority sooner I don’t know. However, now that I have installed it I have declared war on shop dust. My other concern in the shop is safety, particularly while working at the table saw.
I, along with a lot of guys prefer to work with the guard removed for the obvious reason of convenience and an unrestricted view of the cut . Despite this, I always leave the shop with that nagging feeling of having gotten away with it again. I have read about many guys undertaking this practice over many years, sometimes decades but knowing how I can sometimes find my self in a rush to complete a job an accident, for me at least is enevitable rather than likely. So, having bought a telescopic boom and guard some years ago (been under my feet since then) I decided to take it out of the box and have another look at it before making a decsion on whether install or sell.
I decided to install.
Unfortunately I didn’t think to take photographs during the install which is a shame because there were some points of learning for me along the way. There was a little bit of metal working in the form of cutting the boom arm to a more manageable lenght (my saw has 30” rails but the boom was long enough for 50”) with the angle grinder. There was also some drilling of the TS extension table to take care of as well as some fettling of the hose fittings and an alternative means of linking the guard to the DC ducting.
It may be a little difficult to identify certain parts from the photographs, due partly to my skills as a photograher, or lack of, and the similarity in colours of the DC ducting and the boom arm of the guard.
Anyway, the boom and stand are made from a heavy gauge steel, There are two lenghts of tube to facilitate the telescopic nature of the rig. Rather than have the entire telescopic inner section of the boom installed I just cut a 16” lenght of pipe, just enought to fit and hold the guard assembly. The base stand is bolted to the floor and the elevating section of the stand is bolted to the TS extension table using M8 bolts and lock nuts. Fortunmately there were a couple of holes in the extension table frame so I only needed to drill a single hole, I cannot say I am confortable about drilling holes in my tools but sometimes needs must.
The boom was designed to extract dust by linking the hose from the guard to the the horizontal arm of the boom and from there linked into the DC duct work at the right side of the saw. I do not have the necessary room required to the right side so I had to link the guard extraction port to my overhead ducting and subsequently fettle the link up couplings to fit as they were designed to fit the boom and not my 115mm drainage pipe I use as ducting. As I linked the hose directly to the ducting overhead it meant the ends of the boom would have been open. Not a huge problem although from an aesthetics view point I just don’t like loose ends (pardon the pun) so I bunged them with MDF plugs and covered off with electrical conduit junction box covers which I initially secured with double sided tape. As there were already holes in the cover plate I used a couple of 1/2” screws just to make it look neat, I personally don’t think changing the rout for the dust extraction willl cause me much concern, I ensured the hose cuff at the guard has a friction fit so if I need to swing the boom out of the way I only need to pull off the hose and push the arm to the right. The guard is not connected to the saws table in any way, instead it is raised or lowered by hand dependant of the thickness of stock being cut. The large counter balance weight at the back of the guard assembly ensures the guard cover remains in stu while making the cuts.
The poly carbonate guard cover would appear to be the single flimsy part of the apparatus, although providing it is not abused it should be sustainable enough. The design of it is simple so I imagine should I have the time or the inclination a replacement could be manufactured from 10mm polycarbonate sheet without too much skill being required. If I were to manufacture a new or replacement guard it could be designed so the side walls could elevate and ride up out of the way, much like the guard on the PM 2000.
I haven’t used it in anger yet, only a couple of trial cuts to establish it’s efficeincy at collecting dust and keeping my pinkies safe. When the guard is fully down it creates quite a draught from both the guard and from the cabinet of the saw itself. With this done I hope I have killed the two birds with one stone…dust collection and blade safety.
Thanks for taking the time to read folks.
-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan